Senior Trip! What Senior Trip?

Hooray! We have somehow managed to survive thirteen years of home education and this amazing child is about to graduate. In these final months a multitude of activity fills our calendar. Senior photos, yearbooks, caps & gown, honors, and so much more. Then a passing acquaintance asks a question which sends us into a tailspin, “Where is your daughter going on her senior trip?” Wait… what? What senior trip? You mean that’s a thing!

Apparently so. One acquaintance was sharing the joy her oldest daughter had on her trip to France. Her second daughter was thinking London might be more her style. We’ve had friends who’ve gone to Mexico and others to Hawaii. Sometimes it becomes a family trip, other times one parent adventures with the graduate. On occasion the senior globe-trots with friends.

I’ll confess. These all sound amazing. I would love to be able to do this with and for my children. I would also argue there is nothing wrong with these parents choosing to do so and applaud their desire to bless their children. If they can afford it, why not go for it?

But what about those of us who just… can’t? For whatever reason – finances, work situations, life – prevent us from giving that “Instagram worthy” vacation our children have always dreamed about. Our friends are sharing their fantastic plans. Our children’s friends are sharing their fantastic plans. Social media is presenting the image that everyone else has fantastic plans. And we’re… Well, we were planning on heading to the local ice cream shop, getting two scoops of ice cream and perhaps going to the beach. That comparison game is tough, isn’t it?

Just thinking about it is enough to stress some parents out. Or worse. Start a bout of parental guilt. We bemoan all we cannot do for our children but would like to. We stress that our children will be unhappy or harbor feelings of resentment for not having a life which allows us such pleasures. In short. What started out as a simple question, “What are your plans for a senior trip?” becomes the start of a spiritual battle.

Friends, we’re right there with you. But the enemy doesn’t have to win! It’s all a matter of perspective and thanksgiving. If we choose to focus on the celebration of all God is doing in our child and the plans He has for their future, the momentary event holds less weight in our lives. Graduation is not about the party, but the next step in a grand adventure. How we approach the celebration is entirely up to us! Those two scoops of ice cream and a beach trip can be a wonderful senior trip. As could a picnic in the park, having a family party, or any other way we choose to commemorate the occasion. (Plane tickets need not be involved.) It’s all a matter of perspective and a heart of thanksgiving cultivated in ourselves and our children.

What is truly important is that our child know they are special to us. What matters is that they understand we are proud of their accomplishments and celebrate them, not the event. The ceremony, the certificate, is one tiny step in a bigger adventure. We rejoice together over a job well done and go forth in prayer for the steps to come. Graduation honors God’s faithfulness in bringing us this far and anticipating all He will do in their future. It is thanksgiving, grace, mercy, and love. And that cannot be outshined by exotic locations.

In one short month our oldest girl will be graduated. Honestly, I’m not sure where the time has flown. It seems like we just got started. But here we are. God has indeed been good to us. In so many ways. Our family will celebrate, in our own way. A small trip might be involved. We’ll see. And while I would hope she fondly remembers this small adventure, I hope it is merely one of the many which has brought her to this point. For, in my eyes, this isn’t the cherry on top, but one of the many sprinkles which already decorate the large scoop of life the Lord has put before us.

“And we pray… that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, and growing in the knowledge of God…”

Colossians 1:10

We’re curious… When you graduated, did you have a senior trip?

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10 thoughts on “Senior Trip! What Senior Trip?

  1. I honestly don’t remember a senior trip. Maybe there was one and I couldn’t afford to go?

    What I DO remember was that my Jr and Sr years (I was at a church boarding school), a small group of us took our Spring break and took a mission trip to Monument Valley in Utah so we could build a hogan. Those trips bonded us together, and we will never forget them! I think it opened up my mind to future mission service.

    I remember my graduation day,, my friends, even what we ate that day. My roommate and I made peach cheesecake and we sat in the floor and ate it with spins right out of the pan.

    If you can make a wonderful trip, go for it! But a special camping trip, a special picnic, homemade ice cream, whatever makes it special for your crew—that’s what you need to go for!

    Talk with your grad! Ask her/him who she/he wants involved. Sometimes a bonfire with special people is more memorable than a huge celebration!

    I appreciate you sharing!
    Congrats to the grad! Congrats to you, Momma! You both deserve it! What a ride!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on the upcoming graduate!

    I never had anything special given for my own graduation. Both sets of “Parents” didn’t seem to care. The only difference to this was my mum’s insistence on graduating. After that, I was told “your on my own. No longer their concern.” It didn’t turn out as harsh as that; if help was seriously needed, help was there.

    We’re in a similar boat. For our daughter’s graduation we went out for dinner. Before that we took her shopping for some nice dresses and did our own group photos. It was simple, but stylish.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I went on a church sponsored teen choir trip for a week after my high school graduation; a trip I paid for myself by babysitting and completing chores for church members. My daughter requested we take her and a few friends on a camping trip to Yosemite when she graduated from high school. Both trips were enjoyable and not too expensive.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Senior trips are a thing?? 🙂 Needless to say, I never knew that when I graduated. My parents threw a party at our house and all my relatives came (My parents did this regularly on major holidays growing up and I always enjoyed it so really, it was a lot of fun for me!). That was all I needed to feel special 🙂 God Bless! Your graduate will remember the effort and love! Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. First, many congrats to your graduating senior! 🙂

    To echo some other’s sentiments here, “senior trips” are a thing? Guess my ignorance of that just shows my age! The only senior trips I ever heard of were those offered by area schools (back when I was a homeschooled high schooler, which was some time ago) who took an entire senior class usually to some place like Washington, D.C. or New York City. I never knew of anyone who, on their own, went on a “senior trip.” My family and I did travel to the K-12 school through which we got our homeschool curriculum for their homeschool graduation ceremony, so maybe that counts. 😀 We stopped in to visit some family along the way, enjoyed some nice dinners, and the ceremony itself was very impressive. Honestly, that was good enough for me! 🙂

    Congrats again and may God bless your graduate. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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